Scottish Premiership

Aberdeen 1-0 Motherwell

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
  • Jonny Hayes scores early Aberdeen winner
  • Aberdeen move above Celtic into fifth
  • Motherwell remain second bottom
  • Well lose at Pittodrie for first time in 10 visits

Jonny Hayes' early strike was enough to end Motherwell's nine-game unbeaten run at Pittodrie and move Aberdeen above Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

The Dons will remain fifth at least until the reigning champions take on Kilmarnock on Sunday.

It started so brightly when Hayes broke through to score after two minutes.

But the Dons will take few positives other than three points from what was a dull war of attrition against visitors so obviously in football's doldrums.

Motherwell arrived looking to protect a proud record of not having lost at Pittodrie since November 2008.

Their last visit, on the final league day of last season, ended with a 1-0 victory that allowed the men in claret and amber to leapfrog their opponents and clinch the runners-up spot in the top-flight.

However, these are changed days, with the Steelmen looking more punch drunk than punching above their weight as the Motherwell miracle forged by Stuart McCall begins to run out of budget-belying steam.

Jonny Hayes scores for Aberdeen
Jonny Hayes fired past Dan Twardzik for his third goal of the season

This time they made the journey north sitting second bottom - three points above hapless Ross County - without a win in five games, having lost their last three and being 12 points worse off than at the same stage last season.

Aberdeen themselves were looking to recover from a bruising 3-0 defeat by surprise leaders Hamilton Academical, their first defeat in six games.

Manager Derek McInnes had wielded the axe, somewhat surprisingly, in the direction of goalkeeper Jamie Langfield, with summer signing Scott Brown handed a second start.

However, it was his more offensive changes - Peter Pawlett and Niall McGinn replaced Barry Robson and Adam Rooney - that paid an immediate dividend.

An intricate series of passes culminated in fleet-footed Hayes sweeping past a statuesque Stephen McManus before the winger buried a low drive under goalkeeper Dan Twardzik.

Hayes was buzzing and the stunned Well defence was almost immediately stung a second time as the winger burst into their penalty area once more and sent a deft chip on to the roof of the net.

There was no lack of effort from the visitors as they first steadied the ship then worked their way back into the game, but they were given a helping hand by former Cheltenham goalkeeper Brown.

Poor handling from the 29-year-old allowed McManus a chance to half-volley just over and, when the Englishman failed to command his penalty box at another corner, Simon Ramsden's powerful header just evaded the crossbar.

Motherwell, though, having scored a mere six league goals this season, were rarely able to fashion a chance through their own devices and it was not until the 75th minute that a Craig Reid snap shot the defender knew little about forced a save from Brown.

Four changes from McCall - starting Josh Law, Fraser Kerr, Reid and fit-again Stevie Hammell in place of Mark O'Brien, Lionel Ainsworth, Jack Leitch and Iain Vigurs - had failed to add any zip or creativity to his charges.

Not that the Dons were much better and the closest the home side came to adding to the scoring was an in-swinging Robson corner that was fumbled by Twardzik, one of a string of nervous moments from the goalkeeper that exemplified the dark hole of uncertainty engulfing Fir Park.

Jamie Langfield on the Aberdeen bench
Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield was dropped to the Aberdeen bench
Aberdeen goalkeeper Scott Brown
Goalkeeper Scott Brown started his first league game for Aberdeen
Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes celebrate
Niall McGinn and David Goodwillie were involved in the move that led to Jonny Hayes' goal
Dejection for Motherwell's Stephen McManus, Stevie Hammell and Craig Reid
Motherwell players looked dejected as they trooped off Pittodrie
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall looks pensive in the dugout
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall was left to ponder another defeat



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 20Brown
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Considine
  • 8Flood
  • 22Jack
  • 10McGinn
  • 16PawlettSubstituted forRooneyat 61'minutes
  • 11HayesSubstituted forSmithat 84'minutes
  • 17GoodwillieSubstituted forRobsonat 74'minutes


  • 1Langfield
  • 7Monakana
  • 9Rooney
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 25Shankland
  • 31Rose


Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Twardzik
  • 5Ramsden
  • 6McManusBooked at 47mins
  • 2Reid
  • 3Hammell
  • 17Francis-AngolSubstituted forAinsworthat 88'minutes
  • 20Kerr
  • 14LasleyBooked at 70mins
  • 18LawSubstituted forErwinat 75'minutes
  • 24OjamaaSubstituted forMcHughat 75'minutes
  • 9Sutton


  • 4Carswell
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 13Nielsen
  • 15O'Brien
  • 16McHugh
  • 19Erwin
  • 21Leitch
Crawford Allan

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamMotherwell
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Motherwell 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Motherwell 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Zaine Francis-Angol.

  5. Post update

    Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Jonny Hayes.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  9. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Robert McHugh (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

    Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Craig Reid (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Lee Erwin replaces Josh Law.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Robert McHugh replaces Henrik Ojamaa.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces David Goodwillie.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jonny Hayes.

  20. Booking

    Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

As It Stood

2Dundee Utd107121912722
3Inverness CT10622148620
8Partick Thistle93151313010
9St Johnstone10307714-79
10St Mirren10217816-87
12Ross County10118726-194
View full Scottish Premiership table

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